What do you get when you refurbish a building that has served as a horse stable, church, funeral home and a day care? Brewery Vivant, a French and Belgian inspired beer served up along side a European, scratch kitchen in the first Leed certified, commercial micro-brewery. This successful mixture has and landed it as finalist in the 2017 National Good Food Awards!
While the Red Coq front and center on the flag is the crowd favorite, we toasted the start of our visit with this Farm Hand. A French Style Farmhouse Ale, 5.5% ABV reminiscent of what farm breweries in the French countryside served field hands at the start of the century. It’s a cloudy, straw-colored, slightly acidic brew but light on the gut with a clean, refreshing taste. Presumably it was light enough to hydrate and get you back into the fields before the sun went down.
The brewery has 20, 40 and 60 barrels of beer fermenters in addition to storage tanks that have been repurposed from dairy tanks. The larger surface area gives the yeast more area to work creating a bolder flavor profile. Temperature is tightly gauged in the fermentation process and has a major flavor impact. Keeping it cool is a key reason wht home brewers are more successful in the winter as basement temps are less apt to overheat.
Sustainability is intentionally inserted into every aspect of Brewery Vivant’s production, from beginning to literally end products. Many ingredients for its brew and pub menu are locally sourced, along with in-season weekly specials. Mashed grain waste is sent from barrel-to-farm for feed and there are over 104 solar panels on the roof fueling the brewery. Bar goers have a higher frequency of by-products as well and their efforts do not go wasted. The brewery’s partnerships with farmers are chosen based on those who support humane treatment of live stock, antibiotic, hormone and pesticide free include Hefron, Creswick and Dancing Goat Farms, Mud Lake and Irvine Blueberries just to name a few.
Brewery Vivant is a proud supporter of the wellness movement treating their colleagues to $150 benefit of their choice to be used towards a health club membership, yoga or whatever moves them. They also receive eight hours of paid volunteerism per year. One of their favorite charities and ours the West Michigan Kid’s Food Basket who provide sack suppers to children in need. The brewery also hosts Benefit Nights @thePub where they invite in local non-profit organizations and share a percentage of the days sales. Like their beer taps, they like to keep money flowing locally enriching the community.
When it comes to food, we highly recommend the Beer Cheese and Nantucket Bakery pretzels as the appetizer of choice. While burgers are standard pub fare, theirs is made with a 1/2 pound blend of beef and bacon, your choice of white Wisoncin cheddar, gruyere or crumbled bleu cheese and pecan-smoked bacon. Do request the bacon-onion maramalade in lieu of ketchup and mustard.
If you can fit in a tour of the pub, it’s well worth the price, samples included! Featured below is:
- Tart Side of the Moon, 9.5% ABV an imperial stout boasting a huge dark chocolate and black cherry flavor
- Light Crystals, 6.75% ABV a Belgian inspired IPA dry-hopped with Amarillo hops and a vibrant orange citrus aroma. Delish!